Responsibility

“Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” (Jonah 1:12)

We can learn so many lessons from this small book. We can learn about God and we can learn a lot about ourselves. We see God giving Jonah an assignment and Jonah rebelling. We see Jonah running in the opposite direction from where God wanted him. Jonah knew that he was doing wrong, just as we know when we are doing the things that are out of God’s will. I had a cat that was not to go out of our yard. I know it is amazing that a cat would want to obey, but this one would. I could see him start out of our yard and I could yell at him and he would come back into the yard and he would look at me like, you caught me. This was Jonah. He had been caught. He had been caught in his running from God. Jonah knew that the storm was his storm. God sent the storm just for Jonah, to wake him up and lead him in the right direction.

Today too many people do not want to accept responsibility for their mistakes. They want to blame others. People want to avoid the pain of accepting responsibility. It is not my problem. It was caused by other people, by social circumstances beyond my control, and therefore it is up to other people or society to solve this problem for me. It is not really my personal problem. Yes, Jonah did the wrong thing by not obeying God, but he did accept that it was his fault. He was willing to suffer the pain for his mistake. We can only solve our problems when we say, “This is my problem and it is up to me to solve it.”

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